Troy Tulowitzki — who was released by the Toronto Blue Jays in December — is reportedly staying in the American League East.
Jeff Passan of ESPN has reported that Tulowitzki and the New York Yankees have agreed to a deal.
Free agent shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is in agreement on a deal with the New York Yankees pending a physical, league sources tell ESPN. Tulowitzki is expected to join the Yankees on a league-minimum deal, with the Toronto Blue Jays paying the remainder of his $20 million salary.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 2, 2019
Tulowitzki is a five-time All-Star and was once one of baseball’s best players. But at this point, this signing is more of an insurance policy than anything else.
Presently, New York has Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar starting at second and third, respectively. Tulowitzki is certainly not taking at-bats from either of them. He’s also not likely to take any at-bats from Luke Voit, who thrived at the end of 2018. The Yankees could trade shortstop Didi Gregorius, who’s entering the final year of his contract. But if that happens, we’d expect that it’d be to open a spot for Manny Machado.
Tulowitzki missed all of 2018 with an injury. In 2017, he hit .249/.300/.378 with seven home runs in 66 games with the Blue Jays. Even in his prime years, injuries were a big issue for Tulo.
Tulowitzki’s injury history makes him something of a risk. But given the role he’ll fill in New York, this signing makes sense. If it doesn’t work out, then there’s no real harm. If it does, then the Yankees will have another very dangerous hitter on the roster.